Cyprus Shipping Chamber welcomes UN resolution recognising seafarers

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The Cyprus Shipping Chamber has welcomed a UN resolution calling for all governments to immediately designate seafarers as key workers and implement proper protocols as approved by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to facilitate with safe crew changes and seafarers’ repatriation as well as ensure access to health care.

The Resolution entitled “International cooperation to address challenges faced by seafarers as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic to support global supply chains”, was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 1st December.

The Resolution calls for all governments to immediately designate seafarers as key workers which has been a longstanding plea of the international shipping industry, asking for all governments to properly address this humanitarian crisis. More than 400,000 seafarers, whose contracts have expired for many months, are still onboard and unable to be repatriated. Dealing with this burning issue, also safeguards the uninterrupted flow of supply chains and international trade, which are more essential than ever during these challenging times.

The Shipping Chamber said it appreciated the efforts of the UN and stressed the importance for Cyprus, which has already acknowledged seafarers as key workers, to include them among the categories that will receive priority vaccination.